In the mountains east of Fresno the Rough fire is burning. It’s now at 100 thousand acres and only 30 percent contained. For a month or so we were hearing about it in the news, and it sounded bad and all. But yesterday the smoke hit Fresno. Oh my goodness. It’s really rough. I don’t know why it’s called the Rough fire, but it’s really rough in Fresno now. You don’t even want to look around you, or breathe. It’s not a pretty picture.
They keep talking about El Nino in the news. It’s supposed to be a big El Nino this year, with lots of rain for the drought-stricken West. Putting aside the fact that it’s going to cause landslides and flooding, and not even end the drought, couldn’t it just hurry up and get here? Put out the fire? Pound the smoke out of the air and into the ground, or wherever smoke goes when it rains? Please?
I’ve lately been in the mood to write again. The old irresistible urge has been pushing me toward my neglected notebooks, spinning ideas in my head for the plots of children’s books, and even a short story. I’ve hardly ever written short stories, and this one seemed to be clawing it’s way out of me, refusing to be ignored. It was set on the coast, and involved waves and fresh breezes and cello music. Not hard to imagine why.
No one seems to be predicting when the rain might come. Or commenting on the smoke. Maybe we’re all pretending it isn’t happening, holding our breaths, going about our business, trying not to think about it. Doesn’t it just make it worse to say, “Man, this is awful. When do you think it will finally rain?”
But man, this is awful. I hope it rains soon.